Clinical and histological features of duodenal ulcer in children and adolescents

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate clinical and histological features of duodenal ulcer in children and adolescents. METHODS: Forty-three children with duodenal ulcer were prospectively and consecutively evaluated in a 6-year period (7.2 patients per year). Evaluation included clinical questionnaire focused on dyspeptic symptoms, physical examination, and digestive endoscopy with gastric biopsies for histological examination and Helicobacter pylori detection. RESULTS: Diagnostic age ranged from 4 years and 8 months to 17 years and 4 months (mean age: 12 years and 4 months). Abdominal pain was the main symptom (39/43, 90.7%), which was epigastric in 31/39, periumbilical in 7/39, and nocturnal in 27/39. Other symptoms were loss of appetite (32/43, 74.4%), vomiting (30/43, 69.8%), postprandial fullness (23/43, 53.5%), weight loss (22/43, 51.2%), and abdominal tenderness (19/43, 44.2%). Upper gastrointestinal bleeding occurred in 19/43 (44.2%), whereas anemia occurred in (21/43, 48.8%). Helicobacter pylori infection was detected in 41/43 (95.3%). All infected patients presented acute chronic gastritis in antrum, with lymphomononuclear infiltrate predominance in 92% of them. Eradication of the bacterium occurred in 68.3%. Ulcer healing occurred in all eradicated patients and in 89% of non-eradicated patients. CONCLUSION: Duodenal ulcer was associated with chronic gastritis due to Helicobacter pylori in the majority of patients. Many complications occurred, especially upper digestive bleeding.

Peptic ulcer; dyspepsia; Helicobacter pylori; children

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